Kurdish War: November 29, 1999


25 Nov: The Turkish appeals court upheld the death sentence of captured PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan (pronounced Ergelon). The Turkish parliament and president must still rule on the case before the sentence can be carried out. European countries (against the death penalty in general and not particularly supportive of the Turkish campaign against the Kurdish rebels) denounced the move.--Stephen V Cole 

November 28; Turkish sources reported Turk troops killed 70 PKK Kurd guerrillas in attacks throughout northern Iraq. 20,000 Turkish troops are participating in the operation.

November 27; General Huseyin Kivrikoglu, Chief of the Turkish General Staff, has called upon PKK rebels to surrender to the Army rather than fleeing into Iraq, Iran, or Syria.--Stephen V Cole

November 26; Turkey has reaffirmed the "death by hanging" sentence of rebel Kurd leader Abdullah Ocalan. There will be a huge political price, however, should the Turks carry out the death sentence. The first penalty would be extensive economic sanctions from Western Europe. Killing Ocalan would keep Turkey from being considered for European Union membership for at least a decade. Ankara is aware of the political and economic price of executing Ocalan. In a statement issued last week, the Turkish government said it would consider the "positions taken by the European Court of Human Rights" before executing Ocalan. Under Turkish law, the Turk parliament and President Suleyman Demirel must give final approval to the death sentence.

November 24; Seven PKK Kurd guerrillas were killed by Turkish defense forces in fighting near the Syrian border (district of Busaybin).


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